Other favorites of 2012!

  1. Deerhoof, Breakup Song
  2. Screen Vinyl Image, Strange Behavior
  3. Wire, The Black Session – Paris, 10 May 2011
  4. Aesop Rock, Skelethon
  5. Mallard, Yes On Blood
  6. Mode Moderne, Strange Bruises
  7. Chromatics, Kill For Love
  8. Japandroids, Celebration Rock
  9. Sharon Van Etten, Tramp
  10. Moritz Von Oswald Trio, Fetch
  11. Oren Ambarchi, Audience of One
  12. Talk Normal, Sunshine
  13. Sun Araw, M Geddes Gengras, and the Congos, Icon Give Thank
  14. Berangere Maximin, No One Is An Island
  15. Adrian Sherwood, Survival and Resistance
  16. CS Yeh, Transitions
  17. Andy Stott, Luxury Problems
  18. Tame Impala, Lonerism
  19. Christian Loeffler, A Forest
  20. Alog, Unemployed

Four quite varied and excellent tracks, but my favorite is like a seance to contact Miles.


Remixes are seldom essential, especially when the original tracks are great.  But these two collections break repeatedly from that general tendency.

A bit part of it surely has to do with the talent that’s assembled in each case. Ripperton, Nicolas Jaar, Tim Hecker, and others re-interpreting tracks from Ellen Allien’s “Dust.” Moritz von Oswald, Four Tet, Animal Collective, et al doing the same for Pantha Du Prince’s “Black Noise.” A couple of my favorites appear below.

Ellen Allien – Sun the Rain (Tim Hecker Remix)

Pantha du Prince – Welt am Draht (Animal Collective Remix)

The Moritz Von Oswald Trio’s “Vertical Ascent” stands out, in my mind at least, as one of the year’s most interesting albums of electronic music. I suppose my excuse for not writing about it until now (it came out this past summer) is that it’s a complex work that reveals itself only gradually over time. So while it didn’t really jump out at me the first time I listened, it’s been on my playlist pretty regularly now for six months running.

Repetitive percussion plays the key role on all four of the extended tracks on this lp, though the overall feel is much more contemplative than dance-oriented. My favorites here, “Pattern 1” and “Pattern 3,” might best be described as jazz-influenced dub/techno — it almost sounds like early-to-mid-1970s-era Herbie Hancock is lurking there, someplace in the background.

This music is “thought-provoking” in every way. Regardless of whether you’re listening closely, thinking about the compositions themselves, or using the music as background to focus on something else, you’ll come away feeling more enlightened each time.